Visit to the UK, Part 1: London

In June my husband and I traveled to the UK to visit his family and attend his sister’s wedding. Yes, I was lucky enough to marry a Brit, sexy accent and all!

Since we were there for family reasons I didn’t get to do much sightseeing, but I did get to visit the Tower of London! The Tower is featured in an important scene in my book, so I wanted to experience it first hand.

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The Tower of London is actually a fortress, with many buildings surrounded by walls and moats. Here is the outside of it, where they like to play with catapults when they get bored.

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Here is Traitor’s Gate and the (quite unpleasant) moat. Traitor’s Gate was where Anne Boleyn and other prisoners entered the Tower.

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Here is a close-up of the White Tower, the main building at the Tower of London, built by William the Conqueror in 1087. Unfortunately most of this building was being restored while we were there, but we were still able to go inside and visit the Royal Armouries.

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This is the Jewel House, where the Crown Jewels are kept. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let us take any photos inside, but we did get to see them and marvel at how big the diamonds and emeralds were.

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This was my favorite part of the Tower! I’m not sure what this area was for but it was just so cute. I expected the Tower of London to be dark and foreboding, but a lot of it was beautiful.

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Another building inside the Tower walls. I love the bright blue doors and the little potted plants.

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Just outside the Tower of London is the River Thames and the Tower Bridge. The bridge is amazing in person, even on a cloudy day.

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Across the Thames is a strange helmet shaped building, which is City Hall. London is really interesting because it blends very old buildings with very modern ones.

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Another example seen from the Tower – a strange modern building surrounded by much older buildings. The weird Faberge egg building on the left is known as the Gherkin, although it also has a lot of other inventive (and suggestive) names. You can see they are building even more skyscrapers behind them.

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And of course, no trip to London would be complete without a photo of the Queen’s Guards giving you the slanty eye.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we visit the English countryside and go on a safari. Yes, a safari in England!